Money Saving Ways to Remove Stress from Buying Insurance
Having the right amount of insurance for you and your family can create some stress, but if you follow these eight money-saving tips, you can alleviate a lot of it.
Health insurance. Life insurance. Car insurance. Of the three, health insurance creates the highest anxiety, simply because health care costs continue to rise at the fastest rate in U.S. history. But you can take the stress out of buying insurance with these eight money-saving tips.
1. Do your homework. Balance your need to purchase adequate health care insurance with the need to purchase life insurance, home insurance and other insurance policies. The greatest majority of Americans cannot afford adequate insurance coverage, period. But creating a plan that includes saving for insurance coverage is less stressful than giving up.
2. Comparison shop. You can purchase a policy that has stronger coverage or you can buy insurance you don't currently have if you'll lower the costs you currently pay. Comparison shop. Go to unbiased resources such as the magazine Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org), because they have no conflict of interest when they offer ratings due to their not accepting marketing dollars. Make it a habit to revisit your coverage once a year.
3. Think "group coverage." If you are self-employed or working for an organization that does not provide insurance, consult professional organizations in your field to learn if "group" self-insurance is available that can offer lower rates than individual-only policies.
4. Know if an insurance provider can deliver what is promised before you become a customer. A.M. Best provides free access to its Insurer Ratings Directory at its Web site at www.ambest.com. You can also contact the attorney general's office in your state for additional resources. Do a "google.com" search, too, for the latest news and reports on the reputation of insurance companies.
5. Don't make mistakes on your insurance application. If you make a mistake or leave out any information (especially on many of today's health policies that will void your policy over the smallest mistakes or omissions), you risk being declared ineligible. When you need your insurance is when some insurers will go over your policy word by word searching for any mistakes. So don't make mistakes.
6. Always pay for your insurance coverage with a check, not cash. You need a paper trail to prove you have coverage and have made your payments in a timely fashion. Keep your records in a safe place.
7. Do your homework before saying yes to supplemental insurance. Don't pay for supplemental insurance you don't need. Also ask yourself: Is this policy really just a company that provides discounts that you can negotiate yourself or find by comparison shopping?
8. If you are over the age of 50. If you are 50 or older, or approaching that age, consider joining the American Association of Retired Persons (www.aarp.org). The richest corporations have powerful lobbyists to win tax breaks and cost savings from Congress every year. The AARP combines its large membership voice to equal the lobbying clout of many top corporate interests.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruth Klein is an award-winning business owner, best-selling author and marketing and time management consultant whose clients range from solo entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity. http://tinyurl.com/25tqo5